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Chronic Illness / faith

The Joy of the Lord

What do you do when you just can’t do it?

“Do what?” you say.

Anything productive!

Sometimes you’re just tired. People who live with chronic illness experience this a lot. We hit a wall and we’re done. We have nothing left to give, to ourselves or to others.

But I think many people have experienced that same feeling during the last couple of months. Many are still at home and not venturing out very much. We should have gotten so much done over the last few months, just look at all the time we had! But I’ve heard so many people say that they’re just tired.

Spent.

Unproductive.

Unmotivated.

Weary.

They ask, “How can I be so tired? I haven’t done anything!”

I just smile because I know. I know that feeling. I know how it feels to use up all your energy putting clothes on and brushing your teeth. Or even just getting out of bed and not even making it to those other steps!

I’m not going to go into all of the scientific reasons why this happens because I’m not a scientist. There are plenty of articles and research about this. But what I think it basically boils down to is this. It is our body’s way of coping. Of trying to survive.

I’ve learned by living with chronic illness that when my body says it’s time to rest, that’s exactly what I need to do. It’s not doing nothing, it’s the very best thing I can do for myself. My body can’t heal if it doesn’t rest.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to rest. It’s okay be feel a bit off. It’s okay if we need more naps than usual.

It’s okay to not always be okay. #grace

During this crazy time in the world we need to extend grace not only to others, but to ourself.

We need to be kind to others, and to ourself.

We need to show love to others, and to ourself.

God showers us with His grace. Joy and peace are found in Him alone. If we’re looking for those things in the world, we just won’t find it. Not consistently and not unconditionally.

Unconditional, soul-stirring, abundant love, grace, joy, and peace are found in Jesus Christ. In our unity with Him we are free.

In Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah tells the people to “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but enjoying choice food and sweet drinks probably isn’t the best advice right now. But that second piece of advice is spot on.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. #ChristianLiving

God will help us through this. He will give us strength to do the things that He wants us to do.

When I sat down at my computer to write this blog post I had nothing. I’m exhausted, my brain is foggy, and I had no idea what I was going to write. But my heart cried out to the Lord and He gave me not only the strength to physically write this, He gave me words to say that encourage my heart. I pray they encourage yours too!

I love the visual picture God gave me in the car wash a couple of weeks ago. As the colorful soap slid down the windows it looked tired. It looked like it was zapped of strength and melting. But it was also full of color and it was so pretty that I had to take a picture.

Life is like that. We can be weary and tired, melting like car wash soap, but the Lord fills us with His color and beauty. With His joy and strength. And even though we’re tired, we have value because we’re part of His beautiful creation.

Life ebbs and flows like a river. Sometimes the river is dry, sometimes it’s rough and angry when a storm disrupts its calm waters. Other times it’s calm and peaceful, beckoning others to it’s beauty.

But God made that river and He is still here to help guide and direct it. He’s here to guide and direct us too. Let’s look to Him for our joy and strength.

How are you holding up during this challenging time in life? How have you seen God working in the midst of all the hard? Drop me a note in the comments, I’d love to connect and hear your story!

Until next time,

Josie

About Author

Josie is a writer, photographer, and lover of all things adventurous. I'll walk alongside you and help you discover joy for your journey and freedom in Christ!

20 Comments

  • mimionlife
    June 24, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I am filled with the joy of the Lord. Thank you for this encouraging message. Even in times of stress and worry, I feel His joy in my heart. He has a plan and His plan is always best. 🙂

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      June 24, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Amen! I’m so glad you feel God’s joy in your heart. Blessings to you!

      Reply
  • WordCatcher
    June 24, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    hope things fall back into place soon for you. God always makes it so 🙂❤️

    Reply
  • Anne Payne
    June 25, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you for the encouragement, Josie!! I’m doing good and I’ve definitely seen the Lord work in some pretty mighty ways during these last few months.

    Reply
  • Nancy E. Head
    June 30, 2020 at 7:11 am

    Many people have been living in fear. And fear saps our strength too. Great post. God bless!

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      July 1, 2020 at 10:45 am

      It really does. It’s okay to be afraid sometimes, God gave us that emotion too. But living in a constant state of fear is exhausting! Thanks for your comment, Nancy!

      Reply
  • Emily Saxe | To Unearth
    June 30, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Oh I just love what you said about how rest is not doing nothing. I don’t have a chronic illness, but I’m pregnant, so I’m tired all the time. That reminder was very timely for me!

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      July 1, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Congratulations, Emily! Yes, you and that baby need rest. Think of it as being a way to take care of your baby!

      Reply
  • Candyce
    July 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Your post rings so true to me! It took me a while to learn that it’s okay not to be okay. What freedom that truth gave me when I finally did accept it. We do our best on any given day, and some days will be better than others.

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      July 1, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      So often we think that we have to be perfect and have it all together, but that’s just not possible all of the time. When we realize this, it does free us to accept the Lord’s help and rest in Him. It’s so freeing!

      Reply
  • J.D. Wininger (@JD_Wininger)
    July 1, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Amen Ms. Josie! In Him, we find the strength to take the next step. In taking that step, our joy is restored.

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      July 1, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      Yes, exactly! Thanks for your comment, JD!

      Reply
  • Jeanne Doyon
    July 1, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    There is wisdom in your words, Josie.
    “when my body says it’s time to rest, that’s exactly what I need to do. It’s not doing nothing, it’s the very best thing I can do for myself.”
    Giving ourselves permission to rest, to sleep, to do nothing, to watch a TV show…there is freedom in that and I think God smiles, because maybe we are finally understanding His message of Sabbath of the heart.

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      July 1, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Yes, amen! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jeanne! I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to rest. 🙂

      Reply
  • Katy Kauffman
    July 2, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Recently I also thought about God’s “colors” of faithfulness and how He restores life to our souls. He brings our own color, or vibrancy, back. It’s neat that you mentioned that!

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      July 3, 2020 at 10:53 am

      That’s so neat, Katy! Thanks for sharing with me.

      Reply
  • Jeannie Waters
    July 4, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    I, too, have found it difficult to make the progress I want to make recently, and I’m
    reluctant to stop for rest. I appreciate this sentence: “ During this crazy time in the world we need to extend grace not only to others, but to ourself.” Resting when necessary and seeking God’s strength empowers us to do His will. Thanks, Josie, for this reminder.

    Reply
    • Josie Siler
      July 4, 2020 at 10:46 pm

      You are very welcome, Jeannie. I’m so glad it was encouraging to you. Hugs!

      Reply

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